Tesla Motors Inc. has just signed a deal to buy the maker of the Tesla Model S, which is the second-most-popular electric vehicle on the market, for about $1.8 billion.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced the deal in a post on his blog.
It will give the company access to its software engineering team, which has developed the software needed to power its vehicles.
Tesla is expected to begin production of the Model 3 in 2019.
“We are extremely excited to join forces with Tesla to provide an unparalleled level of autonomy and capability to our customers,” Musk wrote in the post.
The Model 3 is designed to be self-driving, but Musk said in the blog post that he plans to start work on a fully autonomous system sometime in 2020.
The company said in February that it had hired more than 70 engineers from companies including Apple, Google and SpaceX.
Musk said Tesla has already spent $4.5 billion on the vehicle.
Tesla, which already makes electric cars, has been a leader in self-drive technology, which allows a car to be driven from point A to point B on a road without using the human driver.
The automaker has been looking to move away from relying on human drivers to drive its vehicles since 2015, when it started using driverless technology on a handful of models.
Tesla has made a lot of strides in the past few years in making its vehicles safer, with more than 50,000 fatalities in 2016 alone.
Tesla’s stock price rose to $1,095 per share on Tuesday after the company posted an operating profit of $2.7 billion, which was higher than analysts’ estimates.